With wedding season upon us, I thought it might be interesting to write about being a maid of honor (or bridesmaid) for family! I personally feel holding this role for family is different than doing it for a friend. I was my sister’s maid of honor when she got married in 2015, and it was a very unique experience. I was in fall of my senior year of college 3 hours from home, and let’s just say… it was a busy time. I wanted desperately to “do a good job,” but also was limited because of school and work as an RA. However, the day of the wedding went off without a hitch, and was an absolutely perfect celebration of one of the better loves I’ve seen in real life.
I have four tips that I think are valuable to making sure you have a successful run as maid of honor or a bridesmaid for family!
- Be present. | As I briefly mentioned earlier, I was really nervous when my sister told me her wedding date and asked me to be her maid of honor. Of course I wanted to be there and hold this role. Hell, I’d been excited about it my whole life. But I was really overwhelmed by my own stuff, and I was having trouble remembering that I needed to just be present in the moments leading up to the day. When we met photographers or florists, I tried my best to tune out my own stress, and just focus on my sister.
- Let them be mad at you. | Weddings are stressful, and people tend to get mad at people they love most when under stress. So, there’s a very good chance it won’t all be rainbows and smiles leading up to the wedding. But, it’s your job to smile, and allow the bride to be angry or upset or emotional (within reason). I will say that you only need to deal with the bride’s attitude. If other people are being rude, you don’t need to keep a smile up if that’s not you.
- Stay positive. | Again, weddings are stressful. So, while everyone freaks out, just stay positive. The day of my sister’s wedding, her groom tore his pants (you know, the ones he was going to get married in) right down the butt. Like imagine a huge, gaping hole where the seem on the butt is supposed to be. Everyone was in pure panic, but you gotta stay positive, and try to see the good or the humor in the crazy situations that will undoubtedly arise.
- Remember that this is, likely, one of the biggest days of their life, and they chose you to stand next to (or near) them. At the end of the day, there is a lot of crazy in weddings. There is family drama, weird intricacies that I didn’t know existed, and a LOT of detail. But, in all the chaos there is a moment of calm. It may happen as you’re chowing down on the dinner, or as your walking up to the mic to give your speech, or as the happy couple is heading out the door. In that moment, whenever it comes, you’ll realize that the bride chose to have you by their side for this one day, a day that, quite seriously, opens a new door or begins a new chapter of their life. You get to be there for the transition, and you get to see it happen. That’s a special moment. So, enjoy it!
I will forever cherish my sister’s wedding day. It was absolutely stunning and it felt so special. It was also one of the only weddings I’ve been to as an adult, so I think it felt right that my sister was getting married… and beginning this new life with the perfect guy for her. Being a maid of honor is such an, dare I say, honor. So, remember to be honored!